Category Archives: Content

The New Era of Creative Storytelling (Part 2 of 2)

{Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part post focusing on what we’ve learned as social media marketers over the years and what our industry looks like moving forward}

Live journalAs you (hopefully) read in the first part of this post, social media marketing and user behavior have covered a LOT of ground in 15-ish years. First, being able to share written word on the Internet, then the ability to start your own personal web page with photos and music, on to easily being able to create and post content of all kinds online, interacting directly with brands and organizations, and eventually live streaming content that “disappears” after a few seconds. Creative storytelling has never been more complicated. Which brings us to today…

2018: The Modern Age

What is Happening?

Blog period3There’s a TON of noise. And individuals are (successfully) trying to find better ways to receive and organize the information they want. The social media algorithm pendulum has swung from content we wanted/selected, to what the platforms assume we want to see (the echo chamber effect), back toward the content we interact with most often (but definitely NOT chronological, because there’s no money in that). The interesting outcome of the “Hooli Effect” (mentioned in Part 1 of this post), is that individuals are using social platforms the way they want to use them, not necessarily how each platform would want you to use them.

Read more after the jump…

Get Grounded Spotlight: Denver CASA Serves Kids in Juvenile Court

Since 2015, The Get Grounded Foundation has awarded grants biannually to Denver-based nonprofits that focus on at-risk youth in the areas of child abuse and neglect, youth behavioral health or childhood hunger relief. GroundFloor Media (GFM) and our sister agency, CenterTable, started our Get Grounded Spotlight Series to highlight past recipients and show their outstanding work in the community. The latest episode spotlights Denver CASA, an organization dedicated to advocating for Denver’s abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system.

CASAs, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, represent the child’s best interests in juvenile court and give a voice to children that don’t have the power to speak for themselves. CASAs are volunteers who spend numerous hours bonding with the children they fight for. They also work with the courts to find the best possible solution for their future. Several members of GFM have been so inspired by their work that they have chosen to become CASAs themselves. Watch the video above to learn more about Denver CASA and how you can become involved.

Please check out our previous Get Grounded Spotlight episodes on our Vimeo channel and keep an eye out on our social channels for when you can submit your application for our Fall 2018 grants. If you’re interested in getting involved with Denver CASA, click here for more information.

Getting to the Point in Public Relations

Getting to the Point in a PR Pitch

When he’s not peering into my purse and desk drawers to scout for contraband snacks and gum, Gil Rudawsky spends his days as one of GroundFloor Media’s fearless leaders. As a Vice President, he has more than two decades of communications and journalism experience. This translates into expert counsel for our staff and clients, particularly in the areas of issues management, crisis communications and public policy campaigns.

Prior to joining GroundFloor Media, Gil served as the deputy editor on the business and metro desks at the Rocky Mountain News. When asked to describe the number of pitches that crossed his desk during those years, he estimates 50,000. This volume of requests has helped him to finely craft pitches of his own.

As colleagues, we review one another’s client communications constantly. Gil is adept at revealing the heart of the matter and never mincing words – a quality I deeply appreciate and admire in a teammate. I sat down with him to talk about how digital and public relations professionals can get to the point.

Press releases then and now

CLARE: With ever-expanding digital media, has there been a shift away from lengthy press releases?
GIL: Going back 30 years, lengthy press releases were always looked down upon, and that’s the case today. I don’t think anybody should have ever sent them, even when we had newsrooms that were four times the size they are now. Because of the breakneck pace of news, journalists have always been too busy. Back then and today, they are only attuned to the top one or two paragraphs of a pitch. If you haven’t sold your story or angle in that spot, you haven’t done your job.

From journalism to public relations

CLARE: Given your background at the Rocky Mountain News, how does that experience as a journalist serve you in your day-to-day work as a communications leader?
GIL: I use the skills I gained in journalism on a daily basis in a variety of areas, mostly in messaging. I focus on writing concisely and getting to the point quickly and I encourage our clients to do the same. In terms of strategy, I’m always thinking about audiences and the best way to present the information. I love capturing a narrative through an engaging video, graphically or in a podcast. For better or worse, we don’t need journalists to tell our client stories anymore.

CLARE: Your personal writing is succinct and to the point. Do you have a method to harness that style when you write content for clients?
GIL: Succinct and to the point are good but context and good storytelling are more important. Color, flavor and storytelling can bring dry or mundane issues to life. Always ask “Why should the audience care about this?”

Supportive proof points and audiences

CLARE: Do you have specific questions you ask a client during the briefing process?
GIL: For messaging, we always want to focus on three key points that we want to get out to their audiences. At the same time, you should your identify the audiences, whether internal or external stakeholders, customers or regulators, etc. You want your three key points to be strong and include supporting proof points that make sense to each of those audiences. I always look at it as a pyramid —  simple messages and building to more in-depth proof points.

CLARE: What are some common mistakes companies make during the messaging phase of a release?
GIL: I think it’s forgetting your primary audience. The general public doesn’t care about your internal terms and branded words – these are meaningless. Companies forget how to be conversational and accessible.

Fewer specialized journalists

CLARE: You have written on our blog about the changing landscape of journalism (one, two, three). Do you want to share any learnings from 2018 so far?
GIL: The trend over the past 15 years continues. We have fewer specialized journalists. Journalists who used to cover a beat now have to cover a variety of topics. Everyone has to be a generalist and that makes our job more difficult. You used to talk to a reporter and they were just as knowledgeable about the topic as you were, if not more so. Because journalists are stretched thin, that’s a rarity now. Educating the media is becoming more important.

CLARE: What do you enjoy most about working in public relations?
GIL: My favorite work is the collaboration between our staff at GFM and CenterTable and the variety of our clients. Our strategies and thoughtfulness can make a real difference in how clients communicate, and therefore how they are perceived by the public. Personally, I feel like the work I do is valued by both clients and teammates and that’s easily the best part for me.

Libraries That Check Out People and Other Non-Obvious Brand Trends

At South by Southwest this year Rohit Bhargava spoke about some of the non-obvious trends for 2018 that his company identified. You can see the full list of 2018 and past trends on the company’s website. Two that caught my eye were Human Mode and Lovable Unperfection.

Human Mode

Human mode is the pendulum swinging away from pure digital automation. Sure sometimes you just want to order a pizza online or skip chit-chat with a cashier and check yourself out at a kiosk, but there are other times when you need a quick question answered by a real human.

Trend spotted – Human Mode

Read more after the jump…

SXSW 2018: Serve Ads to the Circumstance, Not Just the Individual

Potbelly Smile ScaleAs marketers, one of the first and most important things that we can do for our business is to identify the audiences for our product or service. Our audiences (yes, that should always be plural) are typically defined by a combination of demographics and psychographics that help us fit a diverse selection of human beings into a few loosely constructed boxes. But with an unprecedented amount of data now available to businesses it’s time that we introduce context and circumstance into the equation.

Read more after the jump…

The Importance of Active Voice for Brands

When you reflect on the highway billboards of yesteryear and brand slogans that have made an impression on you, they were probably succinct, clever and written in the active voice. Clear, concise writing is absolutely crucial in a brand’s marketing efforts. When a message or campaign gets muddled with lengthy explanations and awkward sentence constructions, the small window of opportunity to quickly convey both meaning and value is lost. One of the simplest issues to address during content revisions is passive voice construction.

Woman Typing on a Laptop Using an Acive Voice For Brand Messaging

Read more after the jump…

A Case for Animation & Motion Graphics

A Case for Animation & Motion Graphics | CenterTable Digital AgencyAnimation and motion graphics provide an alternative method of storytelling that lights and cameras might not always be able to. Whether it’s quantitative data and graphs or bouncy shapes and vectors, animation offers limitless creativity to implement and communicate visual ideas. There are several key benefits to implementing motion graphics into your video marketing strategy.
Read more after the jump…

5 Videos You Might Have Missed This Year

Regardless of which side of the aisle you sat on, 2017 was pretty incredible. This year found itself embroiled in some of the most polarizing cultural, political and technological developments the world has ever seen. In a society increasingly connected in a web of social media outlets and platforms, we were collective witnesses to moments that defined humanity, and moments that divided it. Ad agencies, news outlets and production companies naturally responded to the ebb and flow of the cultural mainstream and its socio-political undercurrents by producing increasingly relevant, provocative and entertaining content.

As director of media production at CenterTable, I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in media and advertising. This year I compiled a list of 5 social videos produced in 2017 that stood out to me in technical prowess, innovation and boldness. This list includes everything from social media ads to TV commercials. Let’s dive right in (in no particular order).

Read more after the jump…

Lunch: The Answer to Your Content Collection Woes

Sandwiches

“It’s just lunch.”

It’s an online dating service as well as the answer to your content collection woes. Bear with me as I try to land this plane.

All content creators have been to the point with clients when you’ve felt as though you’ve hit a wall, either creatively or logistically. It happened to us working for our clients at SCL Health Medical Center, and believe it or not, it was the vastness of content possibilities and not a lack of them that jumpstarted our head scratching.

With dozens of medical practices from Aurora to Evergreen and specialities ranging from plastic surgery to cardiology to primary care — and all of them needing our assistance with digital marketing — our small team was both spoiled for choice and stretched thin when it came to content creation.

Enter the lunch brainstorm.
Read more after the jump…

360 Video: To Gimmick Or Not to Gimmick

360 Video: To Gimmick Or Not to Gimmick | CenterTable & GroundFloor MediaTechnology is a fickle beast that can really creep up on you. One minute you’re blissfully content that two-day deliveries exist, and next thing you know, there’s shoes that order pizza and hoverboards that don’t actually hover and function as boneless scooters (turns out keeping wheels on things is still one of the best ways to keep your face from eating concrete).

The advent of 360 cameras was one of those things that crept up on me. From 16 GoPro camera rigs to smartphone clip ons, companies are constantly innovating the way consumers are telling their stories. However, like the proverbial cynical caveman that I occasionally am, the discovery of fire has left me wondering about the best ways to use it.
Read more after the jump…